Dehradun diary


Express News Service

Summer vacation extended till June 30 
Uttarakhand government on Saturday extended the summer vacation for school by 18 days in light of the surge in Covid-19 cases.  The government had earlier announced that all schools will be shut for summer holidays till June 12. On Saturday, it extended the school closure till June 30. The hill state registered 8,390 cases on Saturday, taking the total number of active cases to 71,174. Uttarakhand has lost 3,548 lives since the first case was detected in March 2020 in the state. Dehradun district recorded the most deaths at 1,997. Nainital comes second with 555 deaths. 

BJP MLA Mahendra Bhatt tests positive for Covid 
Mahendra Bhatt, the BJP MLA from Uttarakhand’s Badrinath, who last year said that those who drink cow urine regularly are safe from Covid-19, has tested positive for the infection. He informed the public about his infection through a Facebook post. “No matter how much precautions you take, this Corona is leaving no one. My driver got infected. I gave my samples for testing. It came back positive. Will stay in Pokhari, away from my dear ones, until I recover, “ he said. In March 2020, amid the first wave of Covid-19, Bhatt said if one drinks cow urine on empty stomach after taking a bath, it annihilates all kinds of viruses in the body, not just the coronavirus. Supporters wished him well on social media. Many mentioned his cow urine statement, without mocking him, and asserted that the threat is real.

Travel agents, drivers struggling amid Covid 
With the Char Dham Yatra suspended amid a raging second wave of Covid-19, hundreds of travel agencies are feeling the burn. Owners of many agencies and drivers are taking up manual labor and farming to earn a livelihood. Sundar Singh Pawar, who owns a travel agency, has returned to his village and has taken up farming. “We have a total of 40 taxis and got 50 bookings for Char Dhan Yatra. After the yatra was cancelled and out of 20 drivers I hired 18 had to be told to go. I came back to my village in Jakhan area of Dehradun.”  Almost all travel agencies have had to ask their drivers to take indefinite leave without pay until the situation improves. Taxi unions, owners of travel agencies and other stakeholders are planning to request the state government to waive off taxes for at least two years.

Ayurveda, homeo docs to help with Covid care
Uttarakhand state government has decided to staff Ayurveda and homeopathy doctors in the district Covid-19 control rooms across the state. Officials of the state health department said Ayurveda and homeopathy doctors of the Ayush department will be deployed to support the health department in its fight against the Covid pandemic. The state government is also planning to hire more Ayurveda and homeopathy doctors on a contract basis and establish more ICUs at Ayurveda hospitals with Rs 5.88 crore sanctioned by the state government to ramp up Ayush facilities in the hill state

vineet upadhyay
Our correspondent in Dehradun [email protected]

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